arrowwhiskers: (tribble boobies!)
Today was a good day. In spite of not being the healthiest day, the people in my life went out of their way to make it a really special time for me, and I'm so, so grateful for that. :) I love all of you. And you, too. <3

I didn't end up going to sleep until around 9 in the morning, since the previous night I stayed up chilling with my roommate (1AM McDonalds runs go!), and reading El Universal. Sleep between 6.30 (when Andres wakes up) and ~7.55 (when Andres leaves for work) is pretty much impossible on any day, because I can't sleep very well over the sound of the shower and I usually decide to stay up and hang out with him for the remaining 30-40 minutes he has at home and help him prepare his lunch and stuff anyway.

So the day started around 2.30 when I dragged myself out of bed. xD Whoops. At which point I proceeded to...do chores?

Things got a bit more interesting after Andres got home. We went out to dinner at Sauce, my favorite pizza place (the only place where I would actually choose to order pizza over anything else...thin crust, delicious cheese, awesome veggies...mmmm...), and then he took me to get a bubble tea afterwards. /o\ I feel so pampered!

A few hours later we went to Fry's in search of my holy grail--Boston Creme Pie, ~3,000 miles from Boston. I know I've looked for it in Tucson before and been disappointed (not that I could help trying again...), and I was so happy to discover it this time that I almost cried. xD It really was the best thing I could have asked for! My birthday miracle? Yes please. The cake wasn't the right consistency and there was way too much chocolate frosting on it, but they tried. I don't even care, actually, I'm just so happy I found something along the right lines. :) <3 Nom nom cake~! <3

All in all, it was a productive, happy day, with just the right amount of special mixed in. <3 Andres really treated me like a queen, I'm so happy to have him by my side, even though things are hard.

The only thing keeping the day from being truly perfect arose actually only a little while ago, when Chipo and Piño began fighting. It's looking bad--this is the way that Chipo and Kage started fighting before we had to separate them forever--and I've tried everything I can think of to try to appease them. I added extra hay after they'd already gotten fresh hay today, and I gave them both carrots (the most coveted of all coveted treats!) and they ate happily side by side... But, after a few moments, they went back to fighting and squealing again. Finally, I grabbed Chipo out of the cage held him firmly still, hoping to assert my humanly dominance and scare him out of his desire to fight. I know the conflict is ultimately his fault...he doesn't get along with Kage, obviously, and he was quite mean towards Melo on the one occasion we introduced them...I can see Piño running away from him and he consistently being the one to instigate violence and press the issue. It makes me *so angry*. Pinche Chipo culero por qué tienes que andar de cabrón y arruinar todo para todos?? Con una re. chin. ga. da. (<-- lol taking out my frustration with All The Spanish Profanity). By the time I returned Chipo to the cage Piño had already curled up inside one of the pigloos, and things are quiet now because they have yet to encounter eachother again. I really hope they get over whatever little snag they're having, because I'm kind of scared to go to bed now and wake up to find that my babies have torn eachother apart :S

I guess if I have to stay up, I could use the time to answer all my bazillion texts and Facebook messages from all my wonderful friends as well as from people I barely know, if at all. xD Hrm. Or, I might just put that off til tomorrow anyway. >.>;;; Heh.

EDIT: Ugh, they're still at it. Thus Chipo gets to sleep in the doghouse tonight (aka, the pet carrier with a little water bottle strapped to it). Hopefully sleeping on a pile of half-fleece half food and barely having space to walk will mellow him out...but it probably won't. -_- I don't want to think about dealing with tomorrow right now.
arrowwhiskers: (happy fai!)
I just realized that it is, in fact, my birthday, because two of my awesome Guatemala friends sent me birthday text messages at exactly midnight. (Awwww ^^)

My watch claims it's March 1st, though.

I wonder who's mistaken.
arrowwhiskers: (Default)
So, this might just be because I had a cup of iced tea tonight followed by a glass of Coke after like. Almost a week of not consuming much caffeine, but...I have so much energy right now. A shaky, slightly-sleep deprived sort of energy, but energy nonetheless. And I feel a fragile sense of well-being, like maybe I'm kind of *okay* right now and maybe this would be like, the *perfect moment* for an adventure.

Too bad it's 5.45 in the morning...wouldn't be the first time my body has had awful timing, I guess. :\ The most annoying part is that the odds are very, very good that in 6 hours when everyone else is awake and wanting to do things, I will be back to my sickly, exhausted self and totally useless. *le sigh*. I am crossing my fingers that it doesn't work out that way, though. :)

I mostly just want to *do something* with this energy. Something useful or productive. I would music, but that would wake everyone else. I would art, but I actually arted last night for the first time in ages and frustrated myself with my limitations, again. I think I need to come up with a new approach to or mental framework for art so that I can actually start to enjoy it again. Crafting seems too ambitious for my current restless state of mind.

I have actually (possibly unfortunately), been suffering corruption from my awesome Esperantist LJ friends who have been tempting me to actually pick up Esperanto-learning resources for the first time in 10 years. Tonight alone, I worked through 30 super-beginner lessons on lernu.net and I want so desperately to do more. Unfortunately, by #30 my brain was starting to twitch and turn itself inside out, so I think in the interest of actually absorbing anything, further investigation should wait. I'm not sure why Esperanto seems like a good idea right now--possibly because of how familiar it is, plus how quickly I know it's possible to make progress. I am so frustrated with everything else right now (mostly with Spanish, because I feel like I keep fighting and fighting and the reward is: stagnance), so a change of pace and scenery is kind of nice. We'll see how long it lasts...I feel like unless I can actually find a real life friend who is willing to practice and speak Esperanto with me, I will inevitably start getting lazy and ultimately lose interest. But we'll see.

Totally unrelated, but the Melo is growing quite large. He is starting to really get noticeable weight to him, which I notice as he crawls across my lap or when I support him with my hands. I should probably take some pictures and post them here before he turns into a total and irreversible fatass like the other three. xD He's a cutie.

Super apologies if this isn't really all that coherent. I'm probably not even half as awake as I think I am.
arrowwhiskers: (happy fai!)
Bookmans, a bookstore chain in Arizona, is holding a voting contest on Facebook for different videos produced by elementary schools in Arizona. A bunch of my friends have been working on gardening and farming projects at one of the competing schools and they say they need all the votes they can get. The winning school will receive $15k and it would be SUCH a huge help for this school and this neighborhood!

So please, watch this video:


And if you think these guys should win the money, please go vote for them here:
https://www.facebook.com/bookmans

If you don't think they should win, well, don't vote for them, but please don't tell me, haha, cause it would break my heart. xD

Thanks so much!! Also feel free to signal boost/please do! :)
arrowwhiskers: (save me)
http://mexico.cnn.com/nacional/2012/01/13/las-muertes-relacionadas-con-el-narco-en-2011

Second linkpost in a row, but. This is an interactive map of the numbers of deaths in each state of Mexico due to drug violence in the last year. EVERY single state has experienced violence. The Yucatán has experienced the least, with one death noted on the map. But these are just the cifras oficiales--what the government is willing to publish and own up to, based on the deaths that they *know about*. The actual body count is surely much more. When *government sources* are saying that nearly 13,000 people died, you know that things are bad.

I can't stop crying. So many of these are innocent people. And I can't believe that the Mexican government continues to ramp up the drug war, when clearly they haven't found an effective answer. I hope the new sexenio (presidential term) is better, with more realistic approaches to all this.

And, please, if you are thinking of buying or using illegal drugs (or have the habit of doing so), think of Mexico. This would not be happening if not for the outrageous drug demand in the US. Think about where your supplies come from and if you ABSOLUTELY need to buy contraband, try to be savvy about where it comes from. When it comes to certain drugs, they don't necessarily need to come from south of the border.

o_o

Jan. 18th, 2012 06:02 am
arrowwhiskers: (george longing)


Te regalo mi orden, mi desorden
te regalo mi norte mi horizonte
mi filosofía, mis historias, mi memoria...


...*nosebleed*
arrowwhiskers: (sakurabuh)
Every day, without fail, the bunny somehow manages to take a hyper pill at the most inconvenient hour in the morning, jumping from one side of his ~6ft long cage to the other with the greatest velocity he can muster given the tiny space. And after jumping back and forth a few times, slamming himself into the sides of the cage for good measure, he ambles over to the edge closest to me and puts his paws up on the bars, staring straight at me with impassive yet somehow heart-wrenching bunny-eyes.

And so I let him out. Thinking, the greater space will be more convenient and comfortable if he's going to be dashing around and doing flips. And yet once outside, all he does the entire time is try to stealth his way into forbidden places, usually chewing on everything prohibited (table legs, couch, cardboard boxes, etc) along the way. No running, no jumping, no taking advantage of the time outside to do acrobatics without obligatory face-planting. Or maybe he's taking *too* much advantage of it from his perspective, I don't know.

So after about 30-45 minutes of chasing his teeth away from the upholstery, I realize that no, he's not actually going to behave and exercise. So I put him back. And within moments, the jumping and slamming commences once again. And the bunny-eyes. But I know it's all a trap and don't give in. The annoying part is that that means that he doesn't stop for awhile, and his jumping makes a huge commotion that agitates the guinea pigs and wakes everyone who happens to be sleeping in the whole house. It usually ends a few minutes later, when bunny gets tired and/or realizes that success in his brilliant plan twice in one night is kind of pushing it.

Have I mentioned this happens EVERY NIGHT? Yeah. Every night I think it will be different, but it never is. For all I know, he actually *prefers* getting exercise in his cage. And he loves trolling me. That one's for certain.

*rolls eyes*
arrowwhiskers: (Default)
First off, I got a reply from LJ support, and they said the issue was a result of the journal style I was using. So I changed it. It'll take awhile to get used to, but at least in the meantime, comments should be working again! Yay!

Recently I have been reflecting on how few languages I actually speak, compared to how many I have studied at different points and for varying periods of time. I'm often pegged as multilingual (which I'm not at all), and it occurs to me that that's probably because I've mentioned so many languages here in my journal and tend to reflect on them so much in general, that it makes people think that I know more of them than I do.

So here's me coming clean. This is what I know of various languages.

Fluent: English. ONLY English.
Languages I can usually conduct meaningful interaction in: Spanish (pretty good), Brazilian Portuguese (not so good), French (pretty bad).
Languages that I can understand pretty well generally (especially written), but can't produce myself: Italian, Esperanto, Catalan
Languages that I can't claim to understand 'generally', but know enough of that in some situations, I can understand sentences and phrases given context: Japanese, Danish, ASL, Latin
Languages that I know a bunch of random words and phrases in, but not usually enough to understand much when someone is speaking: Navajo, Kaqchikel, German, Mandarin Chinese

And uhm, yeah. I guess there are a handful more languages that I know how to say really basic things in like 'Hello', 'Goodbye' and 'Thank you', but I don't really count them. It might seem like a long list, but it would unfortunately be way more impressive if there were more languages in the upper categories and fewer in the ones below. ¬_¬;

I'm also curious about you people, if anyone wants to share. :) What languages do you speak, and not-speak-so-much? Feel free to make your own categories if mine don't really work for you.
arrowwhiskers: (anchovy distress)
So, I noticed on my holiday post that I couldn't properly answer comments. When you reply to a comment, the comment is supposed to create a thread, and if you sign up for notifications, you're supposed to get a notification when someone replies to your comment. But my replies to comments weren't creating threads--just new comments.

I thought this might just be a one-post glitch and so I ignored it, but it's happening on my most recent entry as well. IF YOU POSTED A COMMENT ON MY MOST RECENT POST, EVEN IF YOU DIDN'T RECEIVE A NOTIFICATION I DID REPLY TO IT. If you go to my actual journal you'll find the response. I'm really sorry for the extra pain. Dx Technical difficulties ftl. I notified LJ support about the problem so hopefully they'll have it fixed soon.

Thanks a lot, I <3 you guys :3
arrowwhiskers: (data wtf)
Recently, I've been having trouble hearing things. Not noises, but words. I'm pretty sure it's not outright lower perception of noise, because I'm still kept awake every morning by the sounds of Andres showering, and loud noises still make me twitch. Things don't sound particularly muted, as far as I can tell. But there's definitely something happening to my ability to parse meaning.

I first noticed it a few days ago as I was struggling to understand Spanish language videos that I felt like I should be able to understand easily. (...Or that I'm pretty sure I could have, a month ago, but not now--at least not without difficulty). Then I noticed it with the little things Andres says to me in Spanish--I was asking him to repeat himself more.

Obviously, at first I took this to mean that I was just starting to lose my comprehension ability in Spanish. Which was really distressing, because...while I know I'm getting rusty, I didn't expect to lose so much capacity to understand so quickly.

I finally started asking real questions when I was watching Sherlock with my roommate--filmed in Britain, with actors with British accents. I found myself having difficulty understanding certain things while the episode was at a low volume (Andres was asleep), and I had to put it to an unfortunately high volume to feel comfortable understanding all the words.

It was then that I started actually thinking about how I was interacting with people aloud in my own English. And I noticed that *yes*, I was asking people to repeat themselves more, and was having a hard time understanding things people said when they mumbled, trailed off thoughts, were in a different room/there was a lot of background noise, etc. I hadn't even occurred to me to think about all of those situations, but it is pretty obvious now that I'm having more trouble than normal.

I've actually noticed this problem before in the past, though I can't recall it being as long-lived (and therefore as irritating) as right now. Usually it annoys me for a short while (maybe a day or two) and then I stop noticing it as such a problem. I have usually blamed these episodes on being sleep deprived or worn out, not something actually wrong. But I guess we'll see? Hopefully it'll resolve itself on its own soon.

On a somewhat related note, I feel like this has helped me to pinpoint something that I think is a big problem, not just for me, but for many language learners. When I don't understand something in another language, I immediately accredit it to my own incompetence, and am quick to question my own abilities before considering there may be a bigger problem or multiple causes. I miss things in English all the time, and it's not a big deal, because I speak English. Nobody will question my ability to speak English. Therefore my failure to hear or comprehend something has nothing to do with my mastery of the language [or lack thereof].

And yet, in Spanish, I simply have to be perfect. If I miss a word, if I don't get the joke, it's my bad. I should have studied harder, listened harder, or just generally been more competent. I have everything to prove (at least to myself, if no one else), all the time. The more I let myself notice all the times that things in English just don't come together for me, the more these higher expectations seem so unreasonable. And yet they're inescapable. I wonder if second language learners are cursed with this need for perfection for the rest of their lives, or if there is a level of competence that you can reach where it goes away and you can just stop questioning yourself all the time. Or maybe I'm the only one who does this? I really doubt I'm the only one.

If you're a second language learner, or fluent in another language, do you find yourself being much harder on yourself about misunderstandings or your inability to understand things in your second language? If you've been through and successfully escaped this phase, at what point were you able to do so? What did it take?
arrowwhiskers: (happy fai!)
This is sort of shameful, but I'm posting about a Tumblr meme here because I don't want to post it on Tumblr. (I decided early on that my Tumblr would remain meme-free, and I'm trying to keep to it.) But I can't just ignore it entirely--it's just too perfect, and, well, fateful? Probably not, but maybe.

The meme is: the number of followers you currently have on Tumblr, is the same as the number of your "Spirit Pokemon". I currently have 27 followers. I'm not going to write which Pokemon #27 is...you can look it up, I suppose, if you're curious. xD

People who know me, know Pokemon, and know how the two of us went together, will understand why this stupid meme made my night. And may or may not have made me squeak aloud. xD

And no, it's not Raichu. Though honestly that would have been pretty epic too, and it's #26--only one off. What?

Meme!

Dec. 7th, 2011 01:03 am
arrowwhiskers: (tribble boobies!)
Damn, it's been years since I've done one of these, and I still can't resist, somehow.

Questions not usually asked )
arrowwhiskers: (Default)
Here I am, sitting on the couch in the deserted living room, 3.15 in the morning.

For the first time in a LONG time, at this time of the morning, sitting in this position, I actually don't feel sick.

Unfortunately, this is not indicative of any major change--I felt sick all day, pretty much, so this is a much needed relief, but not any reason to believe that things are getting better.

I feel this awkward combination of elation and anxiety, elation because feeling not-sick has transformed from expectation to privilege over the past two years and it's so fantastic and omg maybe I can sleep soon--and anxiety because I can't help feeling/fearing that any moment my insides will shift again and the relief will go away. I'm scared to get too cozy in this swanky, non-sick, sleep-worthy feeling, because I KNOW how quickly my fickle body can change its mind and make me even more miserable for the fact that I decided to get all hopeful and project assumptions onto the reality of moments other than the Now. And I feel awed, and grateful, and mutedly terrified, and otherwise completely lacking any sort of control or agency in what happens to me or will happen to me several minutes or a few hours from now.

I can't help feeling that, if I ever get some sort of solution for everything and escape this crazy nightmare, I will definitely have residual trauma resulting from this endless sense of powerlessness. Like someone who must try to recover from years of being slapped in the face only ALMOST every time they dared to think a pleasant thought. Can you even *get* trauma from the sort of things that I experience? I'm not sure, but as inescapable as my instinctual reactions feel, I also feel like they are not particularly normal or healthy at all.
arrowwhiskers: (george longing)
It's been a long time since I actually translated something carefully and thoughtfully, doing it moreso for the act of translating in itself rather than for the sake of having a translated product. This poem caught my eye on Tumblr--I like the implied nuance in the relationship between the unnamed characters. I hope, if you decide to read it, that you enjoy it too. Nicanor Parra is from Chile.

Spanish )

English )
arrowwhiskers: (sleepy)
Apologies in advance for incoherence. All The Incoherence.

My mind keeps fluttering in and out of focus, betraying the insomnia-tinged reality of the past few days (or the past week? I don't even remember, to be honest).

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. What am I thankful for? I'm thankful to have Andres at home with me, even if we do absolutely nothing. The emptiness of the house when he's not here can sometimes blur the lines of reality and initiative and wholeness, especially to my mind plagued with lack of sleep or my body besieged by its own self-destructive wrath.

...I really like the word alebrije. Not just for what it means, a brightly-painted Mexican statue representing fantastical creatures, but probably also because it reminds me of the word colibrí.

Also, I have been practicing with the violin every day. The treble clef, once so elusive, is becoming increasingly clear. Even though the posture of the instrument has been wreaking havoc on my slouchy back, I can say with some confidence that I am consistently getting better.

I don't know why I'm making this entry. A clever excuse to put off the obligatory battle between insomnia and exhaustion, I suppose. So tired.
arrowwhiskers: (sleepy)
I finally got around to changing my journal navigation from Danish to English. Spanish and Portuguese still aren't options, which surprises me.

I guess this marks the end of an era in my life...one that actually ended more like 4 years ago, but that end was never officially recognized.

So yeah, I don't think I'll ever really learn Danish, as cool of a language as it is.

I suppose it's just as well.

BEANS!

Sep. 20th, 2011 09:31 pm
arrowwhiskers: (Default)
OMG I MADE BEANS, AND THEY CAME OUT WELL!!!1

Yes, this is absolutely worth an entire post. I have been trying to successfully cook beans from scratch for *at least a year*, and every time something goes wrong...they come out too salty, no flavor, bad flavor, tough skins...the list goes on and on. Every time, I can only bring myself to eat them reluctantly, and it feels worth the money to just buy beans pre-made because I waste so much when I can't finish failed batches and my results have never been pleasant to eat anyway. I've tried to chart out a middle ground between all the different things recipes say...which is a toss-up no matter how you look at it.

I was starting to figure it was my fault, that my inability as a cook was manifesting itself in this way--but my confidence is restored! I hope I can recreate it :)

Organizationally challenged walk-through/recipe under the cut )

Basically though, I just had a huge victory right now. I could eat these beans all day, and it's not a struggle at all! I can finally add beans to the small but growing list of things that I don't feel a desire to buy anymore cause I can make them better myself.

Oh yeah! xO

Oh, and I also owe big props to the [livejournal.com profile] vegrecipes comm where I made a post, and lots of people commented giving me suggestions for seasonings. I actually have quite a few things I have yet to try, maybe once I make enough successful batches to feel more confident in experimenting again. :)
arrowwhiskers: (save me)
A life update. En español. )

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